Title: Create the Ideal City 218

Key Words: Metropolitan area, metropolis, megalopolis, urban, suburban, rural, CBD, hinterlands, urbanization

National Standard: 18 (Applying geography to interpret the present and plan for the future)
State Standard: 15
(Applying geography to interpret the past and plan for the future)

Teaching Level: Middle School

Introduction: Worldwide the percentage of people living in cities is increasing. By the year 2000 A.D., more than 50% of the world's people will be living in cities. As the world becomes more urbanized, city planning becomes more important.

Objective: Students will create a diagram of an ideal city and describe the features that make it healthy for the economy, the environment, and the people.

Materials: Paper for the diagram. An assortment of markers, crayons, colored pencils.
Enough maps featuring closest city to students so each small group of students can have a map.
Handout: Performance Checklist for Project.
Handout: Glossary of Relevant Terms.
Optional - City tour guides, maps, and brochures for reference.
Optional - Photographs, slides, or video clips showing many city scenes.

Procedure: Ask students to describe the city closest to them, either with a written description or by sketching their mental map of the city. Follow with discussion of the main features of a city: the central business district (CBD), the industrial and manufacturing sectors, the main transportation routes, the low, middles, and high income housing sectors, land and water features, health facilities, education facilities, government centers and agencies.

Allow students to form small groups. Give each group a map of the city closest to them. Make observations about the locations of the various sectors of the city. Students may also wish to compare their own descriptions or mental maps to the published map.

Distribute the handout, Glossary of Relevant Terms. Some students will be familiar to students, others will be new. Have students make up crossword puzzles, acrostics, matching columns, or other kinds of puzzles to learn the terms.
Optional: make an illustrated glossary using original sketches or cut and paste illustrations of each term.

Explain the objective of the lesson as stated above and distribute the handout, Performance Checklist for Project for students to use as a guide for accomplishing the objective. Discuss items on the checklist and brainstorm ways each item might be included on diagrams.

Allow students to create their diagrams individually, in pairs, or in small groups. Give a deadline for completion of the project. Show them the scoring rubric before they start.
While students work on the project, the teacher circulates among them to clarify, redirect attention to the project, and offer positive reinforcement.

Use the last ten minutes of each class period used for this project to allow students to share ideas. During these "oral reports" students should be encouraged to use relevant terms from their glossaries.

Draw conclusions. Some examples are: Cities are planned environments. City plans vary in their effectiveness to serve the needs of the urban population. Cities perform many functions for the people and the economy. A healthy city has features that ensure a healthy environment such as: green spaces, recycling programs, litter laws, waste water treatment facilities, park lands.
More people live in cities than in rural areas.

Ask students for other conclusions based on the knowledge and insights they gained through the project.

Evaluation/Assessment: Quiz on relevant terms.
Suggested Scoring Rubric for the diagram of the ideal city:
Neatness: In lettering, drawing, and overall appearance.
Completeness: All checklist items included: title, labels, or legend if symbols are used.
Accuracy: Spelling, capitalization, accurate portrayal of each element.

Extension/Enrichment: Invite a guest speaker from the local Office of City Planning and ask questions based on what was learned in class or any other relevant questions, e.g. Does the Office have access to the Geography Information System (GIS)? Are there any projects planned that are being met with resistance from the people or agencies?

Select a metropolis from around the world to investigate.

Study the NH Highway map and note the location of every urban area. What geographic features are evident?

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you,
The authors

Handout: Glossary of Relevant Terms

Metropolitan Area - a major city and its suburbs

Metropolis - the largest city in a metropolitan area

Megalopolis - a very large city: a region where one metropolitan area blends into another

Urban - referring to a city

Suburban - Referring to the region that borders the city, usually residential with small businesses and shopping centers

Rural - referring to the countryside

CBD - the central business district of a city

Hinterlands - the outside areas served by the metropolis

Urbanization - the phenomenon that refers to large numbers of people moving to the city in search of housing, jobs, services, education, etc.

If you find other terms relevant to the work in this project, include them and their definitions.

Handout: Performance Checklist for Project

1. CBD
2. Industry and manufacturing
3. Transportation systems: roads, railroad, airport, commuter systems, public transportation, depots
4. Housing: low income, middle income, high income
5. Green spaces: parks, arboretum, natural areas
6. Cultural neighborhoods
7. Public facilities: library, schools, pools, hospitals, fire station
8. Landmarks
9. Landforms: hills, quarries, mountains, plains
10.Water bodies: rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canals
11. Recreational facilities: ballpark, tennis courts, track, stadium, memorial field, nature studies area, skateboard park, health club, wellness center, arts and crafts
12. Religious needs: variety of places to worship that reflect the population
13. Cultural centers: music, art, dance, museums
14. Energy sources
15. Water supply: wells, reservoirs, aqueducts
16. Recycling center
17. Waste disposal sites
18. Law enforcement
19. Government buildings
20. Other features of your choice. Do not leave this out! Some suggestions include: bicycle trails, malls in the suburban areas, farmers' market.


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